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What is a scholarly journal?
Your instructor has asked you to find an article in a scholarly (or professional or refereed or peer-reviewed) journal. Scholarly journals differ from popular magazines and trade journals/magazines in a number of ways. (See "Comparison Chart" below.) A primary difference between scholarly journals and other types of journals and magazines is that articles in these journals undergo a "peer review" process before they are published. What does this mean?
The following characteristics can help you distinguish between these and two other types of periodicals: popular magazines and trade publications. If in doubt, ask your teacher or a librarian for assistance. View a helpful video from NC State University here: Peer Review in 3 Minutes.
|Criteria||Scholarly Journal||Popular Magazine||Trade Magazine/Journal|
|Content||In-depth, primary account of original findings written by the researcher(s); very specific information, with the goal of scholarly communication.||Secondary discussion of someone else's research; may include personal narrative or opinion; general information, purpose is to entertain or inform.||Current news, trends and products in a specific industry; practical information for professionals working in the field or industry.|
|Author||Author's credentials are provided; usually a scholar or specialist with subject expertise.||Author is frequently a journalist paid to write articles, may or may not have subject expertise.||Author is usually a professional in the field, sometimes a journalist with subject expertise.|
|Audience||Scholars, researchers, and students.||General public; the interested non-specialist.||Professionals in the field; the interested non-specialist.|
|Language||Specialized terminology or jargon of the field; requires expertise in subject area.||Vocabulary in general usage; easily understandable to most readers.||Specialized terminology or jargon of the field, but not as technical as a scholarly journal.|
|Graphics||Graphs, charts, and tables; very few advertisements and photographs.||Graphs, charts and tables; lots of glossy advertisements and photographs.||Photographs; some graphics and charts; advertisements targeted to professionals in the field.|
|Layout & Organization||Structured; includes the article abstract, goals and objectives, methodology, results (evidence), discussion, conclusion, and bibliography.||Informal; may include non-standard formatting. May not present supporting evidence or a conclusion.||Informal; articles organized like a journal or a newsletter. Evidence drawn from personal experience or common knowledge.|
|Accountability||Articles are evaluated by peer-reviewers* or referees who are experts in the field; edited for content, format, and style.||Articles are evaluated by editorial staff, not experts in the field; edited for format and style.||Articles are evaluated by editorial staff who may be experts in the field, not peer-reviewed*; edited for format and style.|
|References||Required. Quotes and facts are verifiable.||Rare. Little, if any, information about source materials is given.||Occasional brief bibliographies, but not required.|
|Paging||Page numbers are consecutive throughout the volume.||Each issue begins with page 1.||Each issue begins with page 1.|
Annals of Mathematics, Journal of Abnormal Psychology, History of Education Quarterly, Almost anything with Journal in the title.
Sports Illustrated, National Geographic, Time, Newsweek, Ladies Home Journal, Cooking Light, Discover
Architectural Record, PC World, Restaurant Business, American Libraries, Psychology Today, School Band and Orchestra
Learning some information about your Nursing theory / theorist is a great place to start. While you might be tempted to search Google, try looking through your textbook and books from the Health Sciences Library first.
Some suggested titles (click on them to access):
Warning: Some of our eBooks have a limit on how many people can view them at the same time. If the book is unavailable, try again later. If you are done with the book, please make sure close out of it so that others can access it.
Looking for peer reviewed/scholarly items for this project? Try searching DISCOVER below to find them.
Summon Discover is the library's discovery tool that searches across multiple databases at the same time. You can create an account and save articles from your searches by clicking on the RefWorks login at the top right of the page.
If you have questions or concerns after using this new resource, please contact the Health Sciences Library: 717-947-6022 or library @pacollege.edu